Two American citizens Matthew Todd Miller and Kenneth Bae are on their way home after being released from prison in North Korea.
Miller, the younger of the two had been held in custody since April. To the surprise of many commentators James Clapper the US Director of National Intelligence went to North Korea and is accompanying the men home.
They were released just hours before the President Barack Obama was to start a trip to Asia. Officials said he will hold talks with Chinese leaders on how Beijing can use its influence with North Korea to reign in its nuclear weapons programme.
Kenneth Bae’s son told one media outlet his father’s release came out of the blue. “One minute he was doing farm labor and the next minute they told him he was going home.”
The missionary from Washington state was arrested in North Korea in April 2012 and sentenced to 15 years hard labor for crimes against the state.